Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sliding Doors

Author’s Note:

Years ago there was a film called Sliding Doors that starred Gwyneth Paltrow about a woman whose life goes in different but parallel directions when she has some sort of dimensional collide as it were. It wasn’t a particularly amazing film, but the story concept always intrigued me. I’m using that same concept here but not copying the whole plot.

June 21st, 2017, Summer Solstice

The ferry cut through the waves as it made its way towards Alexandra. Anna stood on the upper deck, looking back, feeling the motion but willing and wishing for stillness. There was an aching pit in her gut and she gripped the railing for some stability. Today was the day for the memorial for all the people who had been lost to the last Cedar Point earthquake on May the 7th.  The dead and the town itself were to be mourned. Cedar Point was gone.

It was literally the last earthquake, because it demolished Cedar Point. What was left of the town was no more than rubble and was declared uninhabitable and unsafe. The other half of the town had slid into the sea after the tsunami that had followed the tremors. The Coast Guard and the Red Cross had mobilized to rescue who they could with the help of the remaining members of the Cedar Point Police and Fire Departments.

Anna shuddered at her disjointed memories of that terrible day as the ocean’s spray battered at her face, her expression impassive. She had been pulled from the debris unconscious and it was all still piecing together in her muddled thoughts, her subconscious emerging, and her nightmares. The Lavender Dreams was gone, and her mother with it. Everyone who survived had so much loss to overcome it was hard to just keep breathing and move forward. But Alexandra, their sister city, had opened its arms, and its homes to take in those seeking refuge to rebuild their lives how they could.

She felt the ship slowing and docking and just stood immobile for as long as she thought she could get away with it. Other passengers trudged to the exit, raw from their own struggles and sorrows. Some of Anna’s friends had come on earlier ferries, settled in with closer connections they had with the people of Alexandra. Tamela had Frank, and had simply moved in. Stephanie, Tristan and Michael had all survived and were staying with Michael’s brother’s family. Her younger brother Ryan, his partner, and their sweet baby were being put up by none other than Alexandra’s mayor, Adum Brate and his wife Megan. The Yamadas had suffered great losses too though. Garrett and his boyfriend Ziven hadn’t survived. They had been found in each other’s arms in the rubble. It had been the day they had gotten engaged. Hiroshi Yamada had also never been rescued or found.

Finally, Anna turned around and noticed she was alone on the deck. She had to disembark. She had to take her last steps away from her life in Cedar Point. With nothing but a small backpack she made her way to the sliding doors to the lower decks. Numbly she walked and waited for the doors to slide open. They did, and she took one step through but then an unexpected blast hit like something had exploded, knocking her flat on her back. Her head smacked hard on the metal floor and the world swam in front of her eyes again, like it had in the quake. She felt the odd sensation of being somehow cleaved. Anna lay limp as the blackness enveloped her. At the same time…Anna… walked forward……

Stepping Through

Anna Wright shook her head around as she stepped through the sliding doors, oddly disoriented as her feet found the stairs. What was wrong with her?! She felt dizzy and her ears were ringing. Running her hands along the wall she made her way carefully to the parking level following a few last cars that trickled out. The strange sensations subsided and she caught her breath as she walked. Maybe she was just hungry and dehydrated. No…it wasn’t just her…an alarm sounded and there was shouting. Anna sped up to a jog and made her way quickly off the ferry. As her foot hit the solid ground of the road, another blast hit, knocking her forward. She gripped the pavement for dear life and closed her eyes. When she opened them, there was pandemonium in all directions. She vaguely saw Phoenix, who she was meeting from the ferry, seemingly calling out to her and running towards her.  But when she looked back, the ferry was simply…..gone.

Falling Back

“She’s coming to! Miss….miss can you hear me?”

Anna was vaguely aware of a male voice talking at her and a blurry figure standing over her.

“Ugh….yeah….what the hell……”

She started to sit but the world spun around and a wave of nausea hit her too fast for warning. Anna rolled to her right and vomited in slow painful heaves.

The man leaning over her jumped back a bit but tried to sound comforting “Julie…we have another concussion over here. It’s OK miss, just take it slow……..we’re still figuring out what happened……”

Anna gasped for fresh air and her vision began to focus again. She was still on the ferry but there was no Alexandra Island in sight. They were in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with no land in sight. 

1 comment:

  1. Phenomenal writing leads the reader yearning for more. Riveting, drawing the reader to a time and place that is "felt". Looking forward to the next chapter of Anna Wright's journey.